Volatile Voices | Script Revolution

Volatile Voices

The Script Revolution blog is all about articles that may help screenwriters and filmmakers develop their craft, maximise opportunities, and stay updated on the latest news about the site. This isn't a place where you'll find fear-mongering and browbeating, nor is it a conduit for rule delusions and service advertising. Guest posts are more than welcome and offer a way for members to generate a little more exposure for themselves. If you have a blog post you'd like to submit, then you can contact me by clicking here - CJ

CJ Walley 09 Oct 2019 2

You see it every day on the forums, how do I break in? What’s the Goldilocks porridge of scripts that will guarantee success? How do I create that magic bullet? Who do I need to talk to to make it all happen? What's Hollywood looking for? DEAR GOD, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THIS CRAZY TOWN IS LOOKING FOR!? I empathise with this dilemma and I’m going to outline what I feel is a genuine strategy toward getting your foot in the door as a working screenwriter - CJ

CJ Walley 06 Oct 2019 2

If you are an artist trying to break into the creative arts industry, you are probably more than aware that a portfolio is essential to being taken seriously and shows what you have to offer the marketplace. However, what I’m seeing over and over again are amateurs who are failing to see what is probably the most valuable side of their offering and completely ignoring what is a critical component in their marketing strategy. Let’s talk about what you might be missing, how it’s holding you back, and what you can do about it - CJ

CJ Walley 05 Oct 2019 2

I’ve been wanting to write this article for some time because I think it’s important that I say what I want to say but I’ve also felt some conflict over potentially crossing a line. I’ve written a lot on business and craft but this may be perhaps a little invasive as I’m about to talk about how we financially manage our lives as artists who are trying to breakout of the corporate world and into the creative arts. I’m going to roll the dice, try and sell you the concept of lean living, and see if I get lynched - CJ

CJ Walley 22 Sep 2019 1

Okay that's perhaps a bit of an overly convoluted title but this isn’t a full guide supposed to cover every aspect of every deal a screenwriter can be presented with during their career. This is some basics to cover those early offers you may be presented with and to help you determine if you should maybe get excited or consider politely walking away into the sunset - CJ

CJ Walley 21 Sep 2019 8

There's something I want to get off my chest. My need to say this has come from what’s actually a wonderful forum thread I stumbled upon about script listing websites. I was delighted to see Script Revolution recommended along with the Black List and InkTip with a bunch of positive success stories surrounding it. After three years struggling to get the site off the ground, I have to admit I got a little misty-eyed. However, since I am a defensive pessimist, I of course had to find something to find a beef with and this beef has been brewing for a long time - CJ

John Hunter 02 Sep 2019 0

In his latest article, John Hunter wants you to learn, as he did from a now absent friend, that the narrator in your life, the one inside your head, might be an unreliable one. The question he suggests we all ask ourselves is, are we going to let that voice hold us back and demotivate us or are we going to allow it to empower our creativity? We all know that a neuroticism and writing go hand in hand so here's a little something I certainly agree every screenwriter could benefit from understanding - CJ

CJ Walley 21 Aug 2019 0

Hey, if you’re feeling a bit bleak about your screenwriting journey lately then you need to read this. We all get a little down and this climb up the mountain can seem futile and pointless at times. I myself am going through my own doubt and paranoia despite my recent success. It’s amazing how quick the pessimism can creep back in when things slow down. So, let’s do something about that. Let’s remind ourselves why we write screenplays and rediscover that motivation we need to not only continue our journey but enjoy every step - CJ

CJ Walley 27 Jun 2019 1

For a long time before my first professional screenwriting gig, I was known for being a screenwriter who didn’t spend much money trying to break in. While this was partly because my financial situation simply prohibited anything but a very minor expense, what some people don’t know is that I blew what little savings I had in my first two years writing and that taught me an important lesson; I’d gotten nothing back of any value and needed a different strategy - CJ

CJ Walley 21 Jun 2019 1

Rules, rules, rules – it can feel everyone wants to throw a new one at you when you get into screenwriting and they are almost always obsessed with the superficial. Good craft will always trump bootlicking but let’s not dwell too much on that because I want to share something with you that might just become your new mantra. Before we get into this, I’m addressing screenwriters hoping to break into the independent film world in some form. If you’re the kind of writer aspiring to work for the big studios, this isn’t going to be of much use to you - CJ

CJ Walley 11 Jun 2019 6

I’m a screenwriter based in an old rural market town in the UK who’s recently gotten back from LA where I got to see a feature film I’d written go through principle photography, and now everybody’s asking me how to break in. I can’t really answer that question but I can say this, what I’ve come to notice over the past few years is a distinct difference in attitude between those who eventually break in and those who never seem to make it. I feel like I can easily place amateur screenwriters into one of two groups and predict their destiny - CJ

CJ Walley 16 May 2019 2

I recently did what many say is impossible, not only did I manage to secure a writing assignment in Hollywood from the middle of nowhere in the UK but I was also fortunate enough to be flown out to Los Angeles to watch the feature film I had penned (Break Even) go through principal photography. While the latter rarely happens for screenwriters, I still want to write about what it’s like being a writer on set watching your words come to life, warts and all — CJ

CJ Walley 08 Oct 2018 6

Where I find myself right now is straddling both sides of that wall we all face with the amateur scene on one side and the industry world on the other. From this perspective, I have a great vantage point to see what is and isn’t working for screenwriters who want their passion to eventually bring in paycheques. So, after nearly seven years, countless scripts, and endless chit-chat with everyone from first-time writers to long-time producers, here goes - CJ

Shawn Davis 19 Sep 2018 2

Shawn Davis has been kind enough to continue documenting his journey into becoming a producer/director. This time round, he shares the trials and tribulations associated with making the jump from producing a five page script to something twenty pages long. He wants to share with us the key part of his process that made things a lot easier on the logistics. On top of that, Shawn also wants to share a couple of fantastic links that just might competely revolutionise your post-production software options for zero cost - CJ

Shawn Davis 21 Mar 2018 0

It's time for another one of Shawn Davis' insightful interviews. This time Shawn poses various screenwriting questions to Brett Martin (aka Electric Dreamer) a longtime and valuable contributor on Simply Scripts. Brett is a great example of a writer raised on movies who didn't believe in themselves at first but has since built a productive and optimistic writing routine. Brett also has a lovely quote to share about being an artist and seeking validation. There's a lot to be learnt from writers like him - CJ

CJ Walley 07 Mar 2018 5

I’ve finally optioned a feature script. It’s taken six years to get to this point and it’s been tough, really tough. How does it feel? It feels amazing. It’s a whole new level of validation. It feels like the start of something rather than living in purgatory. But I don’t want to make this about myself. I know many of you are finding it tough too, so I wanted to put something together explaining how I think I got here and what really matters when it comes to screenwriting - CJ

CJ Walley 28 Feb 2018 0

That’s a rather arrogant title, isn’t it? Well, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. There’s countless screenwriter booklists out there and a lot of them aren’t even compiled by screenwriters themselves. They are pretty dire and I’ve been cutting my own path with reading for a while now. I want to share the books that I’ve personally learned a lot from and know have worked for me. This is what I believe is the most powerful collection of screenwriting books you can read over the next 12 months - CJ

Jerry Edmund 21 Feb 2018 3

I want to introduce you all to my friend, Jerry Edmund. Jerry has been there for me from day-one, being the first person to read one of my publicaly shared scripts. A keen writer and reviewer, I have watched Jerry grow and grow over the past five years. He's knocking it out of the park lately too with a recent article over on the Stage 32 Blog. In the one below, Jerry reflects on the art teacher had once had at school at how his unconventional approach to teaching set Jerry on his path to creativity - CJ

John Hunter 10 Jan 2018 1

As we move into the new year, you may be feeling a mixture of emotions. Part of you may feel positive and excited for what 2018 may bring and part of you may feel a little bitter that you've not been discovered yet, or perhaps even been noticed at all. You're not alone and John Hunter is here with a timely reminder that we may as well enjoy ourselves on this journey, as futile as it may sometimes feel. He also has a tip for how to start getting some traction - CJ

John Hunter 13 Dec 2017 2

The double edged sword of our new digital world. That's the topic for John Hunter's latest blog and something I imagine we've all had to consider. The barrier has been lowered so we can submit instantly via email, but then it's lowered for everybody and does that make us any better off? I have to admit, sometimes I long to be twenty years younger and ten years wiser, living back in the late nineties when you had to put a lot more legwork into being rejected - CJ

CJ Walley 05 Dec 2017 2

Something strange happened to me this year. My screenwriting life took a shift in a new direction. A producer reached out to me about optioning one of my features and is now working hard to secure the financing needed to green-light the project. This is a strange new world to me and, being the the kind of person who lives in perpetual state of anxiety, one which is filled with inner conflict and paranoia. I should be happy, ecstatic even, and I was for a few weeks before resuming my normal state of melancholy - CJ

Shawn Davis 25 Oct 2017 1

For those of you who have been at this writing thing for a while, the name Pia Cook should mean something to you. Pia is one of the best examples of how to keep a razor-sharp focus when the chips are down. What do I mean by that? Stay in this business long enough and you will see the “real” side of screenplay writing. The hard side. The side that makes lesser writers walk away. 

J.E. Clarke 30 Aug 2017 0

Here’s a story about the famous artist Picasso – one you may have heard before: A stranger interrupted Picasso at his evening meal. Producing a napkin from his pocket, the man asked: “Could you sketch something for me? I’ll pay you for it.  Name your price.”  Picasso grabbed a charcoal pencil, and rapidly sketched a goat. It took only a few strokes, yet was unmistakably a Picasso. The man reached for the napkin, but Picasso pulled it back. “You owe me $100,000”. The man was outraged. “$100,000? Why? That took no more than 30 seconds to draw!” Picasso threw the drawing away. “You are wrong,”...

John Hunter 23 Aug 2017 0

“I’m an artist. I don’t concern myself with such mundane things as financial reality or production costs…" Well, good luck with that. Meanwhile back in the real world, other struggling writers are trying to cut costs to help get empty pocket projects on screens. The Holy Grail for nascent filmmakers is, of course, a single location, one person script and no FX which can be shot with a single iPhone in ambient light. Big Studio have decided to go another way. It is an important thing to know and understand the difference.

J.E. Clarke 19 Jul 2017 1

Once you’ve been in the scriptwriting biz for a while, a number of questions just… emerge.

In my particular experience, queries such as these: How do you manage to write so damned fast? What’s your method for bringing ideas to life? Followed by: What the fuck’s wrong with you? Can you connect me with your dealer? What the hell are you going to do with your life?

CJ Walley 14 Jun 2017 8

Before we get into this, I want you to sit down and be prepared for a bittersweet ending. You see, this isn’t one of those blog posts where I encourage every writer to keep fighting, this is a heartfelt and open case for why I may have to quit. I feel it’s about time we had a little conversation about how utterly life destroying the screenwriting dream can be.

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